Presentation Summary: Western psychotherapy approaches to suffering emphasize bringing clients’ history and defenses to greater consciousness, “fixing” problems, and pursuing future goals. Eastern approaches to suffering focus on detaching from the drama and self-absorption associated with clients’ historical sense of self, compassionately accepting what is without problematizing, and pursuing mindful presence in the moment. Can these two overtly opposite approaches be reconciled? How can our experience with relationship challenges in particular be approached productively from the paradoxical insights each offers?
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to:
- Identify the different assumptions underlying western and eastern approaches to suffering and therapy approaches derived from each approach
- Constructively challenge clients’ assertions that a problem is intolerable, that other people or current realities are at fault, and that freedom from it is necessary before well-being can occur
- Describe the advantages of defining intimacy to include both closeness-and-distance and change-and-acceptance
- Practice ways of increasing tolerance for the anxiety created by previously disowned feelings, uncertainty and lack of control, and disturbances inherent in all close relationships
Biosketches: Wendy Ulrich: PhD in education and psychology from the University of Michigan. Currently licensed psychologist in the state of Utah, previously in private practice for twenty years in Michigan. Has been an adjunct and visiting professor at Brigham Young University in the departments of Psychology and Counseling and School Psychology. Founder, director, and presenter at Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, LLC, offering seminar-retreats on mental health themes, including this topic.
Carrie Skarda: PsyD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Currently licensed as a psychologist and in private practice in the state of Utah, and has been in practice as a psychologist for eighteen years in California and Utah. Associate director and presenter on mindfulness and other mental health themes for Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, LLC. Co-author of Mindful Living for Latter-day Saints (in press).